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Freedom to Tinker

Research and expert commentary on digital technologies in public life

Last Build Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 13:17:34 +0000


Why the FCC should prevent ISPs from micromanaging our lives

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 21:37:04 +0000

Why the FCC should prevent ISPs from micromanaging our lives by Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger* Network neutrality prevents broadband Internet service providers from micromanaging our lives online. Constraining the networks this way enables and even empowers Internet users to be active and productive human beings rather than passive consumers. Unfortunately, the network neutrality debate […]

How the Contextual Integrity Framework Helps Explain Children’s Understanding of Privacy and Security Online

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 21:32:37 +0000

This post discusses a new paper that will be presented at the 2018 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW). I wrote this paper with co-authors Shalmali Naik, Utkarsha Devkar, Marshini Chetty, Tammy Clegg, and Jessica Vitak. Watching YouTube during breakfast. Playing Animal Jam after school. Asking Google about snakes. Checking […]

CITP Call for Visitors and Affiliates 2018-19

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 15:38:01 +0000

The Center for Information Technology Policy is an interdisciplinary research center at Princeton that sits at the crossroads of engineering, the social sciences, law, and policy. We are seeking applicants for various residential visiting positions and for non-residential affiliates. For more information about these positions, please see our general information page and yearly call for […]

AI and Policy Event in DC, December 8

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:14:04 +0000

Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) recently launched an initiative on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Public Policy.  On Friday, December 8, 2017, we’ll be in Washington DC talking about AI and policy. The event is at the National Press Club, at 12:15-2:15pm on Friday, December 8.  Lunch will be provided for those who […]

No boundaries: Exfiltration of personal data by session-replay scripts

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:21:51 +0000

This is the first post in our “No Boundaries” series, in which we reveal how third-party scripts on websites have been extracting personal information in increasingly intrusive ways. [0] by Steven Englehardt, Gunes Acar, and Arvind Narayanan Update: we’ve released our data — the list of sites with session-replay scripts, and the sites where we’ve […]

Media Files:

HOWTO: Protect your small organization against electronic adversaries

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 12:24:28 +0000

October is “cyber security awareness month“. Among other notable announcements, Google just rolled out “advanced protection” — free for any Google account. So, in the spirit of offering pragmatic advice to real users, I wrote a short document that’s meant not for the usual Tinker audience but rather for the sort of person running a […]

The Second Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:26:24 +0000

Arvind Narayanan and I are excited to announce that the Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection (ConPro ’18) will return in May 2018, once again co-located with the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. The first ConPro brought together researchers from a wide range of disciplines, united by a shared goal of promoting consumer welfare […]

AI Mental Health Care Risks, Benefits, and Oversight: Adam Miner at Princeton

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:07:20 +0000

How does AI apply to mental health, and why should we care? Today the Princeton Center for IT Policy hosted a talk by Adam Miner, ann AI psychologist, whose research addresses policy issues in the use, design, and regulation of conversational AI in health. Dr. Miner is an instructor in Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and […]

Avoid an Equifax-like breach? Help us understand how system administrators patch machines

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 22:59:11 +0000

The recent Equifax breach that leaked around 140 million Americans’ personal information was boiled down to a system patch that was never applied, even after the company was alerted to the vulnerability in March 2017. Our work studying how users manage software updates on desktops and mobile tells a story that keeping machines patched is […]

I never signed up for this! Privacy implications of email tracking

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 18:52:50 +0000

In this post I discuss a new paper that will appear at PETS 2018, authored by myself, Jeffrey Han, and Arvind Narayanan. What happens when you open an email and allow it to display embedded images and pixels? You may expect the sender to learn that you’ve read the email, and which device you used […]